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Grants to Illinois and Indiana Emerging Nonprofit and Community Organizations in Eligible Counties to Advance Social Change

Seed Fund


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Crossroads Fund Inc
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Geographic Focus
USA: Illinois: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will countiesIndiana: Lake County

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/12/24 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $15,000 to Illinois and Indiana early-stage nonprofit and community organizations in eligible counties for general operating and project support. Funding is intended to assist new, small, community-based organizations that are working to advance social change. The Fund supports organizations rooted in communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Counties include Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will in Illinois, along with Lake County, Indiana.

Funding is provided for general operating, start-up costs, or project expenses.

Crossroads supports many different forms of social change organizing, such as (but not limited to):

  • Direct Action Organizing
  • Public Policy Advocacy
  • Art & Cultural work that is community-based and linked to activism
  • Economic Development
  • International Solidarity
  • Action Research as an organizing strategy to identify, document and analyze information, in partnership with a community group
  • Media Advocacy that promotes greater public understanding of critical issues and increasing organizing outreach efforts
  • Social Services linked with Activism
  • Leadership Development and Training
  • Providing Resources for Local Activists
  • Working Collaboratively Across Issues and Communities
  • Gatherings and Conferences.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The Seed Fund supports new, emerging, and/or small community-based organizations that are actively engaged in social change work.

- Open to registered 501c3 and fiscally-sponsored organizations, or groups with organizational bank accounts
- Organizations with previous year annual expenses under $500,000
- Meet Crossroads Fund’s Funding Criteria

Crossroads Fund supports groups that have:
- 501(c)3 status
- 501(c)4 and co-operatives
- Fiscal sponsor for those without tax-exempt status
- Organizational bank account

Additional funding criteria for organizations:

Crossroads Fund does not fund:
- Organizations involved in electoral campaigns
- Contribute substantially to support lobbying at the federal, state, or local levels
- Support private or individual interests, in contrast to public interests
- Direct service work/social services (Food, Clothing, Shelter, Self-Help/Empowerment Programs, School Supplies, etc.)
- Scholarships, fellowships, or grants to individuals

Pre-Application Information
- Application Opens: January 8, 2024
- Application Deadline: February 12, 2024
- Announcement: Early July, 2024

The application review process runs from March to June each year.

Crossroads Fund can and will respond to requests for feedback. Please share a draft or one-pager with Joanna at least one week prior to grant deadline.

Funding Criteria:

Estimated Size of Grant
The maximum grant in this program is $15,000.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

All applicants must use the Grant Portal. If you have any questions on the new system, or on the application process in general, please email Joanna Preston at or call 773-227-7676.

Contact Michael Aghuhar at

Crossroads Fund
3411 W. Diversey Ave. #20
Chicago, Il 60647

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